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Knitting up a storm of Fitzroy beanies


Youve heard of a storm in a teacup? Wait till youve heard the one about the tea cosy that spawned a beanie craze at Fitzroy.

It started innocently enough when President and dedicated tea drinker Joan Eddy was espied by Kerry Winchester (mother of captain Rory and canteen stalwart) turning up to a preseason camp armed with teapot, strainer and tea cosy.

Kerrys mother Dot heard the stories (not all we hope and, we might ask, what happened to the what happens at the preseason camp stays at the camp) and went to the trouble of knitting Joan a special tea cosy in Fitzroy colours.

The Dot-knitted-Roys tea cosy duly made its appearance at the following pre-season camp and, according to Joan, its possible that, after a few drinks on the Saturday night someone possibly put the tea cosy on her head (Kerry) and one of us said, we need to get Dotty to start knitting Fitzroy beanies

Like her daughter, Dot is up for any challenge and Rory rocked up to the following pre-season practice match with a bagful of his grandmothers knitted beanies. The rest, as they say, is history.

Joan calculates that that was about three seasons ago and since then, Dot has continued her supply of FFC beanies. And each year shes been joined along the way, slowly but surely, by a growing army of other (mostly) grandmothers and mothers on the needles, including Al Greens mother in law and the grandmother of W1 full forward Liz Olney.

This love and dedication inspired Louise Maniatakis (someone who knows a thing or two about love and dedication) to design and crochet bespoke beanies for senior players and volunteers one for the women, one for the men, and one for the volunteers amounting to over 100 in all.

Getting into the spirit of the beanie, Wendy Symonds (another of our loyal volunteers) has done a great job over the last two seasons sourcing bargain price wool to give out to fellow volunteers willing to take on the knit.

The craze has caught on far beyond Fitzroy with Brisbane Lions players both women and men now wearing the new supporter-styled knitted beanie and reputed to be the envy of their AFL team mates.

Indeed, star AFLW Brisbane Lions and Melbourne Uni goal kicker Kaitlyn Ashmore took the opportunity of speaking at our recent luncheon to stock up on her supply of supporter beanies from the Fitzroy merch stall. She also wanted to grab some of the beanies she saw the Fitzroy women wearing at the lunch but Joan let her down gently, explaining that the only way to shed get to wear a Fitzroy womens beanie was to sign up as a Roy girl.

Fitzroy reached another beanie milestone last week when our first online request came in from a Brisbane-based Lions supporter for a Fitzroy supporter beanie.

Now Mia Sutherland, who tragically went down late in the season with an ACL, is licking her wounds and planning to aid her post-surgery recovery by knitting up a storm of Fitzroy beanies over the six-week off season.

And thats just the last instalment in the Fitzroy beanie story. As Joan says, with many more chapters still to play out, Viva La Beanie Fitzroy!


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